Watch CBS News

DIY hair coloring: Getting to the root of the problem

Do-it-yourself hair color: A quarantine quandary
Do-it-yourself hair color: A quarantine quandary 03:55

A few weeks ago, during a "Sunday Morning" correspondent Zoom chat hosted by David Pogue, you might have heard me ask this: "Ladies, what are we doing about hair color?"

A superficial question, for sure, but one that's on A LOT of people's minds.

Yes, we're dealing with issues of life and death right now, but we have to survive in-between. This pandemic is not just black-and-white; there's a lot of gray.

A LOT of gray.

This is my head on lockdown: 

CBS News

Even the mayor of Chicago violated her own advice and headed to the salon for a haircut: "I take my personal hygiene very seriously," she told reporters.

Her governor, J.B. Pritzker, had different feelings: "I'm going to turn into a hippie at some point here."

It's not just our heads … and it's not just women.

Men need hair grooming, too. CBS News

Call it vanity, call it self-care … call your colorist! Mine's Nancy Braun. I asked her, "So, caring about the way you look right now is not entirely superficial?"

"No, because it's real," Braun replied. "It's  just trying to do the little, small, incremental things that make you feel like you have a touch of control in your life where you feel like you've had none."

"Okay, so what are you doing to take care of your clients?"

"Somebody created this little container where you're able to put color in one side and developer in the other, seal it, and protect it," said Braun.

Hair colorist Nancy Braun on supporting personal service workers 00:54

Nancy sent me one of those kits, and then I went to Hair Color Grad School.

Or was it kindergarten?

Braun asked, "Are you good at coloring between the lines?"


"Good. 'Cause that's what I need you to do. You gotta color between the lines."

CBS News

"This is science!"   

CBS News

I'm gonna wash that pandemic right outta my hair …

CBS News

And the results? 

Voila! CBS News

"I love it! Honestly Nancy, I had no idea this would make me so happy! I am so happy!"

Braun's not the only one helping her clients this way. New Jersey stylist Kim Serratore is usually part of the CBS News hair and makeup team, but these days she's dropping off color and giving lessons from at least six feet away.  

And let's say you don't have a stylist: You can order hair color online, or put on your mask and gloves and head to the store. Better hurry! The CEO of Walmart says shoppers are no longer panicking over toilet paper, they're panicking over their toilette. "Lately we've seen more grooming products [selling out]," Doug McMillon told NBC's "Today." "People are starting to need a haircut, so you start to see more beard trimmers and hair color and things like that."

Madison Reed CEO on emotion associated with hair coloring 01:38

That DIY feeling is a heady one, but what if you can't do-it-yourself?  And if hair color isn't what you need, try a virtual bang trim … or help your partner get Zoom-ready.

Bottom line is, do try this at home! If you want to. If you want to go gray, or purple, or Chewbacca, you grow, girl!

Look, we're all in this hairy situation together. I may care a lot about my roots, but I'm letting my facial hair grow, and when it gets really bad? I'll treat myself to a facial mask. 

CBS News

For more info:

Story produced by Julie Kracov. Editor: Carol Ross.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.